52 on Friday ~ games

Wondering how many of us pulled out the Monopoly game this week for our theme?…. I know I did!  How can you go wrong with cute figurines?

Happy Friday and many days of playing games…….  Now check out what Laura has in store this week 🙂

52 on Friday ~ week 15

April showers bring May flowers….. or so the saying goes… it also brings baby showers, bridal showers, wedding showers 🙂

I love me a shower!  I love planning one! { i’m a wanna be “party planner” }…. so bring on the showers!  See how Laura showers by clicking HERE ;P

J* ~ theFIX

Last Wednesday was a day I had been looking forward to for a couple of months.  It was stressful trying to get tickets in January, because I had scheduled a trip with some friends to the mountains, where phone reception isn’t always available, needless to say it took me all day, but I got a ticket!

I was so EXCITED!!!

If you had told me a year and a half ago that I would get to attend a Jasmine Star event, I probably would not have believed you.  I have been following J* since I first saw her on a CreativeLIVE workshop a couple of years ago, she has been a huge inspiration and encourager to never give up!  If you had told me that I would get to meet her, talk to her briefly, and get to hug her, I would have been doubting your sanity.  See I am the shy, quiet, happy in my safe place, totally content with my routine, girl.  J* has encouraged us   { us, being photographers } to step out of our comfort zone, outside of the box of safety.  This hasn’t been easy, but no one ever said it would.  Going to this event was stepping out of my comfort zone, but I knew I could do this { along with some xanax ~ i’ve got major anxiety issues too! }.

Then I got the opportunity to “help” the crew set up.  I thought how cool would that be!, plus I could interact with others and settle my nerves a bit.  So I officially became a J*Fixer   🙂

It was a whirl wind 24 hours nevertheless…. here was my day:  4am up, finish packing.  Go drive my school bus route.  Come home.  Drive to airport, fly to Dallas.  Jump in a taxi to Enterprise ( it was cheaper than renting at the airport & this girl was on a budget ). Drive to The Apartment where theFIX was being held (2pm).  Show up first { a bit awkward }.  Meet Andrew Barlow from Showitfast & Jenny Dawson, the amazing coordinator of theFIX, along with my new friends and fellow Fixers, Catie Ronquillo Wood, Elise Ostermann, Elisa Copeland, & Vanessa Hendrickson.  We also got the opportunity to welcome the rest of the attendees and make them feel at home, answer questions, and document the activity(6:30pm – 11pm).  Help break down ( 11-11:30pm ) Off to motel & bed (12:30am ) It was a blast!

Oh yeah and we got to hear Jasmine speak about the importance of community and how to strengthen our business….. here’s my notes:We all suffer:  we don’t mind suffering as long as we understand why & it makes sense.    Don’t just project the nice shiny things ->Talk about the struggles.                                                              Businesses fail in 5 years.  Photography businesses fail in 3 years.   We need to radically change things.  The only way we have a chance is if we do this together.  MAKE FRIENDS, doing this, everything changes.                                                                                                       Set up a Google Calendar with those friends.                                                                                   Comparison of influential artists, such as Picasso, Van Gogh, they surrounded themselves with fellow artists……. friends thrive on each other, we may not always get along all the time, but we know how to make the other stronger.  It makes it harder for us to walk away from our businesses.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               GOALS:  What have you set out to do?  Have you written down goals for the year?  Make a time frame.  Know what you want.                                                                                                  DEVELOP CLIENTELE:  Be selective.  Have on-line interactions.  Pre-qualify clients.  The struggle is to know that we are not “everyone’s” photographer.                                               ENVISION:  Emotionally immerse ourselves.  Its one thing to say we are a photographer, it’s another to believe we are.                                                                                                          BREAK THE MOLD:  Don’t get in the rut of: it’s always been done this way.  Break the mold & be you.  The moment you act like someone else you let yourself down.                    LET GO:  Make a list of your struggles.  Make a list of your weaknesses.  Educate your clients.                                                                                                                                              CONFIDENCE:  ACTION-> Do The Work. Action is a great restorer in confidence.  Do things that put you in control.  Set up things for your advantage.

Sacrifice does not guarantee success, it is merely a prerequisite of success.

Now for me to get to work and apply all these points!

Much THANKS to Jasmine Star for the amazing seminar!  Showitfast, PASS, & WHCC for being a sponsors.  I would be that failed business if were not for the wonderful information you provide, amazing website hosting, supportive & loving community you have created, & gorgeous prints.

Flip flops & leis

So many good memories from this weekend spent with one of my closest & long time friends.  It all could not have been accomplished without the amazing support of girlfriends… Many, many thanks to T, Katie, Mandy, Ginger, &  Crystal!

Heat & humidity appropriately signaled the offical start of summer in the south, and my “themed” personal shower… our happy couple is off to Cancun for their honeymoon. What better way to celebrate than to supply them with all the essentials.  No worries though we beat the heat with our handy a/c and sips of margaritas.

Flip flops and leis welcomed our guests ….. a unique guest art was created for the bride ( we puff painted our names onto shells that will be hot glued to a frame …. at the end of the party we took a group picture to include in the frame ), we even had cut-outs to pose for some fun pictures.   

The cake was amazing 🙂   Special thanks to our    creators:  Debbie & Grant Geurin of Taste of Eden Bakery… it was perfect!

Of course our shower followed the path of many showers with a couple of games …. which were a success and included lots of laughter.  I’m not a huge game person at showers myself… hate the clothes pin game ( no offense ).  So “steal the gift” was a hoot! …. very interesting to see how people are drawn to the fancy wrapped gifts…. and are not willing to give them up… it was all in fun though.  Our brides’ sister-in-law couldn’t have pulled off the “teddy in a box” game off any better….  

…. And of course our bride-to-be recieved beautiful things, a few travel accessories and thanks to a cousin & a future niece… a few blushes too 😉

Frosting + Wrapping

Exhausted …. but it was completely worth it!  I spent several days last week “pretending” I was a baker, yep an actual baker…. and imagining I was one of those talented cake artists… So 10 – 9×13 vanilla & chocolate cakes were baked, stacked, crumb frosted, and then “pretty” frosted…. and all I could keep thinking was I hope this turns out ok?!?  { eek!  what have I got myself into “volunteering” to make this? }  Fully understanding the work that now goes into making those gorgeous cakes they show on TLC and the Food Network… and I wasn’t even close to those beauties.  Nevertheless… we then transported it to location over 60miles from home… It made it, but we had a few mishaps… { panic! } part of the frosting stuck to the box and decided it liked the box better than the cake.  Thankfully I remembered to bring a few tools ….. scraping it into submission and back on the cake…. {yep that will definately be the back I utter… }.  As if that wasn’t nerve racking enough…. then the top layer decided it wanted to become the “leaning tower of pisa”…. great. { sighs with disappointment & holding breath that this baby stay upright until we can cut it }.  It hung in there, and got lots of compliments… and then we mutilated it.  All that hard work, for what?   The Wedding Shower of two of my dear friends who I would do anything… really anything for… and this was just part of my love and happiness for them… "Leaning Tower of Pisa"In the end  I  also learned that art in whatever its form is always and will be a labor of love…. and we all have our talents, clearly I still have a ways to go in learning all there is in cake art…. Not to say I won’t make another cake in the future…